We first met Alexa Demie this past year with her groundbreaking role in the newest HBO series Euphoria as Maddy Perez. Her latest project, Waves, produced by Trey Edward Shults, tells the story of a young couple who deals with the pressure of adolescence. The film covers many aspects including family trauma, sports stress and ongoing struggles many young adults face today. The intimacy showcased within the film reminds the audience of the infatuation of your first relationship and the somewhat toxicity of being young and in love. The naïve spirits of both Alexis (Alexa Demie) and Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) will pull at your heartstrings and help you relate to their relationship. HOLA! USA caught up with the 24-year-old actress on her newest role as Alexis and the coping tactics she uses when it comes to dealing with trauma.
When working with Kelvin, the Mexican-American star regressed back to her teenage years to remind herself of her own struggles. Alexis shared how she and her high school boyfriend were very codependent of one another and a bit abusive. “I had a boyfriend in high school, and I was very codependent. I’m thankful it was never physical, nonetheless, it was mentally abusive on both our parts. Thankfully, I have grown from that experience.” The brunette beauty let her vulnerability tell the story through her character as Tyler’s girlfriend and truly created a conversation that is wanted and needed with the Latinx community.
Reflecting on her Mexican-born mother, the Waves star spoke on how her mother’s spiritual nature helped her become the woman she is today. Keep reading below for her mama's insight, and why she is inspired by fashion icons from the past like María Félix.
HOLA! USA: This movie shows the pressure teens face today from parents, society, peers. Did you feel that way growing up?
Alexa Demie: “It's funny, growing up I think I put pressure on myself. I really have been very headstrong, and I've always known from a very young age that I wanted to do something big like an act. I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well. And especially because on my mom's side of the family, none of them really believed that I could do what I'm doing.”
There’s a line in the movie that Sterling K. Brown says about not being average. Did that resonate with you?
“I do resonate with that when it comes to acting in Hollywood because I would have a lot of struggles like they didn't know where to place me. And also with a lot of Latin roles, there are so many clichés. And even though my mom was born in Mexico, she doesn't have an accent, you know what I mean? And not everyone does. It's interesting because I didn't feel that way growing up. I think growing up in L.A., there's so much culture around you.”
Without giving too much of the movie away, Waves covers trauma and identity. Do you have any coping mechanisms to deal with trauma?
“That’s something that I took on at a very, very young age. I didn't have the easiest upbringing, so I really turned to find ways to help myself. My mom is very spiritual. I read a lot of books. I explored meditation; I figured out that nature is somewhere that I feel connected, and I feel like rooted and feel like my truest self. And so I found this place that's hidden in L.A., and I made it a point to go there a lot, especially while I was healing. And just trying to be really grounded and aware of my surroundings, the people that I keep around me, my energy, who's draining me, who isn't. And also forgiveness. I think the main thing is you don't want to go around with a chip on your shoulder your whole life.”
You also found your passion in design. Do you help pull clothes for your roles?
“I always try to get on the phone and have a creative conversation beforehand. I don't have a stylist or anything. For Euphoria, the stylists are so collaborative so I got to just send references and designers’ pictures. Waves were the same.”
Who are some of your fashion icons?
“It’s really hard because there are different things that inspire me. I have folders and references saved, and. I guess all of my references have always been kind of like rooted in past eras. I also am a huge fan of the late Mexican film actress and singer María Félix and Spanish actress Penelope Cruz."
Waves is now in select theaters in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other cities. It will be available for viewing nationwide on Dec. 6.